Former UK Prime Minister Ted Heath — who died in 2005 at age 89 — has been accused of picking up a 12-year-old hitchhiker in 1961 and raping him, according to The Mirror.
Heath was a Conservative MP at the time. The Mirror says the unnamed boy — now a man of 64 — was a runaway, trying to get a ride to London. Years later he recognised a photo of Heath in the newspaper and reported the assault to social workers but no one believed him.
The pair spent the night together, and the man was even able to describe details of the inside of Heath’s Mayfair flat:
“I stuck my thumb out as I walked….when a car pull up and the window was lowered and the driver asked me where I was going. I told him the West End (of London) and he told me to get in the car.”
… “I noticed photos of yachts on the wall but one thing that intrigued me was a silver stick in an open box on a sideboard.
“I asked him what it was and he told me it was a conductor’s baton. It made him laugh when I said I had never seen a bus conductor with a baton. He explained it was an orchestra’s conductor’s baton.”
The Daily Record (The Mirror’s sister paper) says two separate police investigations into Heath were shut down in the 1970s. In one, Heath was alleged to have been seen at a house that child abusers frequented. In another, allegations from a brothel keeper were hushed up, The Daily Record reports:
The madam, believed to have been arrested in the 1990s for running a secret sex den, told detectives she would stand up in court and reveal lurid details of the Tory politician’s perverted sex life if she was ever charged with any offence.
The woman was due to stand trial but senior officers at Wiltshire Police are believed to have intervened and immediately dropped the case against her.
Heath, the Conservative prime minister from 1970 to 1974, was named on the record by police as the focus of a new investigation yesterday.
The announcement looks like authorities may be making progress in solving the mystery of whether Britain’s government hid a network of high-ranking child abusers in the 1960s, 70s and 80s.
Wiltshire police said they will investigate both a claim of child abuse against Heath made in the 1990s, and why police failed to pursue that claim at the time it was made:
Following the announcement today regarding an independent investigation by the IPCC into allegations concerning how Wiltshire Police handled an alleged claim of child sex abuse made in the 1990’s, we are carrying out enquiries to identify if there are any witnesses or victims who support the allegations of child sex abuse.
On becoming aware of the information, Wiltshire Police informed the IPCC and later made a mandatory referral. The IPCC investigation will specifically consider how the Force responded to allegations when they were received in the 1990’s.
Rumours of child abuse in the British government go back decades:
- A court was told that South Yorkshire police are investigating whether conservative MP Kenneth Clarke, another former cabinet minister, assaulted a boy years ago, according to the Exaro News site. Exaro later reported that Clarke denied he was under investigation, “police assure me that they have not been investigating me over sexually abusing a boy — or anything else.” The police declined to confirm or deny the investigation.
- Former home secretary Leon Brittan, who died in January of this year, is widely suspected of having covered up child abuse among his colleagues by losing a key dossier assembled by those hoping to expose the abusers.
- Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s records show she knew of rumours regarding paedophilia but thought they were “fantasy.”
- And London police are still investigating a claim made by a man named only as “Nick,” who alleges he saw a Conservative MP kill a boy at a child sex party in the 1980s.
- “Nick” identified one of his alleged abusers as the former deputy director of MI6, Sir Peter Hayman, who died in 1992. Hayman had previously been named in parliament by Geoffrey Dickens, the late MP who tried to investigate child abuse in Westminster.
The Guardian noted, archly, that “Heath, who was prime minister for four turbulent years, never married and was famously reticent about his private life.” The Telegraph and Sky News reported the rumours that he was gay but had never come out of the closet.
Sir Edward Heath has been named in relation to offences concerning children. He lived in Salisbury for many years and we would like to hear from anyone who has any relevant information that may assist us in our enquiries or anyone who believes they may have been a victim.
The government has already started two other investigations into historic allegations of abuse by politicians. New Zealand judge Lowell Goddard has been appointed to look into the entire universe of the alleged Westminster conspiracy. Thousands of people are expected to testify, according to The Guardian. In December, Scotland Yard was given a document that contains names of 22 high profile figures, including three serving MPs and three members of the House of Lords, alleged to be involved in the suspected Westminster paedophile ring during the 1970s and 1980s.
And Home Secretary Theresa May demanded a review the loss of the dossier under Brittan. That probe concluded that it could not be proven what happened to the file.
- Here is the full statement from Wiltshire police.
- Here’s the full statement from The Independent Police Complaints Commission.
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